how to be human

Story time! And then some.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor to get my meds refilled. Finding a psychiatrist out here has been impossible. So, basically, this doctor thinks I’m insane. I had to answer all the normal questions of what allergies I have, what medications I’m currently on, any recent hospitalizations, medical history etc etc.

Doc: “So.. you know that klonopin is not meant to be drug used for long term use, right? How long have you been on it?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, duh, my short term memory is shot. I’ve been on it for over 4 years.”

Doc: “….have you ever tried anything else?”

Me: “Zoloft, lexapro, celexa, lithium, trileptal, lamictal, welbutrin, xanax, buspar, abilify, risperidone, effexor, cymbalta, aaaanddddd…. pristiq?”

Doc: “……………..”

Me: “Oh, and ritalin, adderall, concerta, and focalin.”

Doc: “And your diagnosis is…?” *queue the look of utter confusion*

Me: “Something between general anxiety disorder and Bipolar 1 and possibly borderline personality disorder.”

Okay, for real though. That is a LOT of medications. I’ve been medicated since I was 14 (which I told said doc), and now I’ve realized, that maybe there really isn’t anything wrong with me. I’ve never been able to get off of the klonopin because of its awful withdrawal and it’s the only thing I’ve ever taken that will actually keep me calm. Why would I stop that?

Truth is, I’m not ashamed that I’ve been on so much medication. A large majority of the general population has been on an antidepressant or anti anxiety or whatever at some point in their lives. But the other truth? Are you ready to be SUPER surprised?

Medication will not solve your problems.

Wow, I hope that just blew your mind. I also hope you can read my sarcasm.

I’ve been fighting my demons with medication, and I’d have to do it if I didn’t have medication. It’s no better than alcohol or drugs. It’s all a form of disassociation. Why do I have an alcohol problem? It keeps the demons away.

Meds will just make you feel better, but they’re not magical pills that will solve your problems. You still have to unlock the doors that you don’t want to go through. I finally realized that. I can block out my feelings all I want, but they’re still going to be there and they will come out when I least expect them (aka, Emily’s scheduled annual breakdown).

A couple of years ago, when I first started seeing my alters but not transitioning into them, I didn’t feel anything. I felt like a sociopath. I couldn’t connect my feelings to a situation and if I did, it wasn’t the “right” feeling. This was before I realized that I didn’t remember anything of my life before I was about 11 or 12 years old. I had so many blocked memories in my head that my therapist pointed out to me. But I didn’t want to know them. They were locked away behind closed doors for a reason, why would I want to let them out? She warned me that if I kept this hidden, eventually it would all come back to me and I’d be stuck in a pile of memories and feelings that I’d be forced to face.

Sure enough, a week later it did. I was out drinking with my (now ex) boyfriend and suddenly I felt something weird coming on.. a sense of dread. So we went home. I fell on the floor and started crying uncontrollably. Memories and feelings flooded my head. I couldn’t process any of it because I didn’t know how to react to these feelings that I hadn’t felt in years. I realized I didn’t know how to be human, how to feel. So I sat there and cried. Memories of my childhood, good and bad, memories of some shitty things that happened to me post childhood that I didn’t want to remember. I was sitting in a mountain of my own shit. And I was drowning.

After that episode, my alters disappeared. I realized that I had compartmentalized all of my hidden memories into these alters that held the memories that I didn’t. My alters existed to protect me from what would hurt me to know.

So you see, medications cannot protect you from yourself. They can keep you calm. They lift your mood ever so slightly. They can keep you from seeing things that are not actually there or from hearing voices no one else can hear. But medications are a bandaid. Leave that bandaid on long enough, that wound won’t heal. It will get infected. It will spread. And you will have no idea that this is happening.

And here’s my final decision: I’m done with medication. There’s still so many doors to unlock in my head and I need to do this on my own without the comfort of my klonopin.

Reach into your mind, grab the demons by the throat, examine them, accept them for what they are. Know that they will always be there. But know that it’s ok to feel, even if it’s a bad feeling.

Now step forward, and open that door.

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